Dietrich Klinge

(Germany) *1954 in Heiligenstadt

The former Cistercian monastery of Eberbach in the Rheingau, one of the best preserved examples of mediaeval monastic architecture in Germany, has for the first time this year been included as an exhibition location for “Blickachsen”. Twenty-one bronzes by Dietrich Klinge are installed in the interior and exterior spaces of this historical architectural complex, where they stand in direct dialogue with their surroundings – with the history and original, spiritual and agricultural, function of the monastery as well as with its Romanesque and early Gothic architecture. Klinge has assembled this exhibition with great sensitivity to a location which offers an ideal relational framework for the display of his works. In his sculptural work, the sculptor and graphic artist Dietrich Klinge focusses on the human figure. With his abstract-figurative forms he creates an expressive, seemingly archaic pictorial world consisting of strange figures in the most varied of postures, as well as busts, heads, and also reliefs. All his works seem as if they were roughly hewn out of wood, though in fact they are all bronze casts in which the surface structure of the wood mould has been preserved. Klinge starts his working process only after a period of detailed thought and advanced planning. Smaller figures are created out of a single block of wood; larger, monumental forms and more complex compositions, on the other hand, emerge from a combination of several worked blocks. The bronzes cast out of the resulting wood moulds are finally given a carefully applied patina, which re-inforces the impression that they are made of wood. Klinge’s outdoor sculptures, which can be seen in public spaces in many German cities and, increasingly, in the USA, were also to be seen in previous “Blickachsen” exhibitions in the Bad Homburg Kurpark and the Niederhöchstadt sculpture park. Each of his expressive figures emanates a physical and psychic energy – one which any passer-by cannot fail to experience. But despite the boldness of forms and gestures, Klinge’s sculpture is concerned essentially with contemplation and inner peace or, also, with an inner struggle between active and passive states of being. It is from the balance between their forceful, emphatic presence and their contemplative, often spiritual, bearing that these sculptures attain their incomparable power. The special character of the Dietrich Klinge exhibition for “Blickachsen 9” in the Eberbach monastery is vividly described in a separate catalogue with text by Joseph A. Becherer.